May 15, 2020
UK to cut tariffs on agricultural imports from the US
The Financial Times reported that the move by the United Kingdom aims to advance progress on a free trade agreement with the United States.
A big concession package is being proposed by the UK Department for International Trade to US negotiators. This will cut tariffs for specific agricultural imports.
The proposal is being outlined by Liz Truss, UK Trade Minister. However, concerns have been raised by George Eustice, UK Environment Secretary who said that the package may undercut UK farmers.
The UK Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs has also raised concerns regarding the package.
A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said any imports into the UK must abide by its strict food standards, with future deals with the US also benefiting farmers, consumers and companies.
Formal negotiations between both parties began last week on a free trade movement, which aims to be completed as the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has affected trade flows and the economy.
Discussions are held online by 30 groups comprising 300 staff from the US and the UK.
The UK strongly opposes US genetically modified crops and poultry treated with antibacterial methods.
In 2018, trade between both parties reached US$127.1 billion, with services trade at US$134.8 billion.
- Reuters, Financial Times